Home NewsroomLife & ConsumerFood Scientists Discover Ways to Make Plant-Based Meat Rich in Natural Meaty Flavor

Scientists Discover Ways to Make Plant-Based Meat Rich in Natural Meaty Flavor

by Julie Howard
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Scientists use vegetables to increase the meaty taste of artificial meat and reduce chemical additives, making artificial meat not only delicious but also healthy and natural.


Scientists recommend switching to plant-based meat to reduce carbon emissions and carbon footprint. (Photo via unsplash.com)

Washington, D.C. (Merxwire) – Whether you are pursuing good health or advocating for environmental protection, plant-based meat alternatives are becoming more and more popular. If you still think that plant-based meat lacks a meaty taste, you may have to change your mind now. Recently, scientists used onions and leeks to discover a natural way to increase the meaty flavor of plant-based meat.

To make plant-based meat more closely resemble real meat, scientists have discovered that when onions, chives, and leeks are fermented with typical fungi, they can produce natural compounds that are similar to the saltiness of meat, giving plant-based meat not only the appearance of meat but also the texture and taste are very “meaty.” The research was published in the journal ACS Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The research team fermented various fungi with food and found that foods from the Allium genus, such as onions and leeks, produce a meaty flavor. In particular, after 18 hours of fermentation between Polyporus Polyporus fungi and onions, a fatty and meaty flavor similar to liverwurst will be produced with a pungent smell. Next, the researchers analyzed onion ferments using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and found that the high sulfur content of onions helps them make meaty compounds. Researchers expect these onion fermentations to be used in various plant-based meats as natural flavoring agents.

Plant-based meat is a kind of “meat” made from plant protein. In the past, many people thought that plant-based meat had the appearance and taste of meat but lacked the flavor of meat when eaten. Businesses will add food additives to plant-based meat to increase its delicious taste. However, these condiments are artificially synthesized, making plant-based meals unhealthy and unnatural. Nowadays, natural methods such as enzymes, bacteria, or fungi in food are used to produce meat flavor, successfully reducing the chemical footprint of plant-based meat.

The main ingredient of “plant meat” is plant protein, and its taste and appearance are similar to real “animal meat.” (Photo via unsplash.com)

The world’s population has grown recently, and consumption levels have generally improved, resulting in strong demand for animal protein foods. The carbon emissions from animal husbandry alone account for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the transportation industry (railways, roads, ships, airplanes, etc.). However, earth-reducing carbon emissions and carbon footprint are urgent in the face of increasing warmingPlant-based meat may be one of the global solutions.

According to research firm A.T. Kearney, with the advancement of technology and the rise of consumer awareness of environmental protection, plant-based meat is expected to account for 23% of global animal and plant protein consumption by 2035, gradually surpassing traditional animal meat. However, while vigorously advocating the switch to plant-based meat, we must pay attention to the sodium content. The sodium content of plant-based meat with complete protein exceeds the low-sodium standard by 3.5 times. It is recommended that people with chronic diseases consider eating it.

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